HOUSTON - Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is looking forward to seeing his team take on the record-setting Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
“I think we have arguably the best player (James Harden) in the league,” Alexander said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “We have a big man (Dwight Howard) who has stepped up in the playoffs before. We have vets on this team. They’re tough, and they’re not going to be awed by these circumstances and I think we’ll give them a good battle.
Naturally, Alexander wanted his franchise to make the playoffs again, but the Rockets win over the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night also gave the team a 41-41 record for the regular season.
“It’s great,” Alexander said. “It’s also important to me that we finished at .500, because I’ve only had two losing seasons in 24 years, and I didn’t want a third losing season.”
Even after owning the Rockets franchise for 24 years, Alexander still takes losing personally, and this season has been especially tough for him.
“It’s been very difficult,” Alexander said. “To come in with such high hopes, and things go south so quickly, it’s been horrible. I take losses very hard. When we play every time a team scores against us it hurts me. Every time a team scores a three pointer I really go crazy. I really take losses very hard.
“I want to win every single game.”
Alexander was thrilled to see James Harden score 38 points in the win over the Kings, finishing the regular season with an average of 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Harden joins Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players to average those numbers in a single season.
“I went up to James at halftime, he didn’t know it,” Alexander said. “I said ‘now you have to get 37 points tonight’ and he said ‘why’ and I said ‘because Oscar, LeBron and Michael are the only three people to do it’ and he said ‘okay thanks.’
“I don’t think that most pundits understand how great James is, and that in my opinion he’s definitely one of the top players in the NBA . To see what he contributes every night to get his team to win is magnificent.”
“Once he gets more offensive talent around him, and we win big, they’ll realize what they’re missing.
And once again Alexander believes his superstar is the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.
“I think he is the MVP,” Alexander said. “To get his team to 41-41 after all of the problems we’ve had, definitely.”
Alexander said a recent ESPN report that said general Daryl Morey “faces some uncertainty” about his future is not accurate.
“There is no uncertainty,” Alexander said. “Daryl is with the team. We evaluate everybody, but right now things aren’t changing.
“There’s no uncertainty about his future.”
Alexander said when J.B. Bickerstaff was named the Rockets interim coach he would be evaluated after the season ends, and that has not changed.
“The season’s not over yet,” Alexander said. “All evaluations will take place after the season ends, and the season hasn’t ended.”
Meanwhile, Alexander will be with his team in Oakland for the series against the Warriors.
“It’s very exciting to play the number one team in the league this year, with the best record,” Alexander said.
“It’s going to be an interesting playoff (series). We’re playing against what has been the best team in the league. I think we have a bunch of hard-driving guys, I think with the best player in the league. We’ll see what happens.”